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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)

TITLE: Daddy's Eyes
By Mary Lang


Dad’s face was tight. Concern and worry framed his horizon-scanning eyes.

The sky was angry. Its face was dark, framed with bushy clouds pulled together in a black frown.

“I just hope we make it home before….” Dad’s voice was drowned out as he accelerated the old tractor.

Surprise was on my face. My father had run to the field toward me, waving his arms for me to stop the tractor. He was on it before it even really slowed.

“Child, what are you thinking? Don’t you see the storm coming? You can’t stay in the field on a tractor.”

We drove out of the field of corn rows as fast as he dared.

I studied daddy’s face so close to mine. His deep brown eyes never for a second stopped scanning the horizon. Those eyes were edged in squint lines emanating like starbursts on brown leather, and could read the weather as well as they could read me. I was transparent before my parent. He knew me as well as he knew the back of his hand.

We were cut of the same fabric. We loved the smell of newly plowed earth, freshly cut alfalfa, or musty horsehide as we harnessed the old mare. We exuded strength, but had soft-as-Jell-O insides.

I remembered reading sorrow in his eyes the day he buried his baby girl. My little sister had only lived seven days with a hole in her heart. I followed my daddy with my heart in my eyes all day. I watched him, looking deep into his grief stricken face trying to see past the curtains he had put up. I glimpsed the depth of his emotion when for an instant I saw his tortured soul as he held the tiny white coffin before it was set into the earth, and he wept.

I thought of the sparkle in those eyes when he teased us or played baseball with us. The sparkle was in my eyes when he taught me to waltz. Dancing with daddy was like floating on a cloud, and since my feet never touched the floor, I danced with grace and perfection.

His dark eyes gleamed with pride when we kids did well in school; when my older sister became valedictorian and when my older brother came home from Vietnam. They looked with tenderness at my mother never for an instant regretting the life they had together.

Many years have passed, and many storms have surged and ceased since the day my dad and I out ran a storm on a tractor. Daddy’s face is smooth now; his eyes are sparkling with happiness in the presence of Jesus. They are gleaming with joy as he gets to know the little girl he buried so long ago. They are filled with tenderness and love for his earthly family. It's good to know he is in peace.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dara Sorensen06/09/06
A touching tribute to a father. I especially liked this line: We exuded strength, but had soft-as-Jell-O insides."

Good descriptions and very heartfelt. Great job!
david grant06/12/06
Interesting and it draws me to my own memories. I liked some of the sentences, but wished the writer would have gone a little deeper. Didnt really understand the tractor lesson. I would have started the story off with the wonderful line about dancing with Daddy. There are some wonderful keys here. A little more work will bring out their power.
George Parler 06/15/06
"Dancing with daddy was like floating on a cloud, and since my feet never touched the floor, I danced with grace and perfection." This brought a smile to my heart. My granddaughters love for me to pick them up and dance with them. Thank you for this story.